Wade Miley came back from a blowout against his manager to blowout the Braves and end a seven game Red Sox losing streak. Miley went 6.1 innings to even his record at 6-6, while Brock Holt hit for the cycle to support an 18 hit attack in the 9-4 Boston victory over the Braves.
In the momentous slump breaking contest Wednesday afternoon, both Dustin Pedroia (knee) and Hanley Ramirez (back) sat out with some minor health issues. Pedroia’s replacement, Holt, walled a double off Braves starter Julio Teheran to start the game off. Holt had a slight breather before Mookie Betts (3 hits) drove him in with a gap double to left. That was just the beginning.
David Ortiz walked and cleanup hitter, Xander Bogaerts, hit a bloop single to center to load the bases for the Sox’ latest specialty – the rally killing double play – this one by Pablo Sandoval. The DP did bring in a second run and the Sox took a quick 2-0 edge.
The Red Sox put their specialty in operation in the second. With one out Blake Swihart banged a ground single into center and up stepped Rusney Castillo. Ground shot to first, DP number two on the day and five for the series. The Red Sox did put a halt to the DP streak in the third by going peacefully 1-2-3.
For three frames Miley was dealing with just one hit and five strikeouts, but baseball goes more than three innings, and that came to an abrupt end. Cameron Maybin led off the fourth with a walk and trotted home on a Freddie Freeman double – number 20 for Freeman – to put the Braves on the board. Freeman then moved to third on a Jonny Gomes sac fly and came home on a Nick Markakis ground out to Holt. Now a 2-2 game.
In the sixth it fell apart for Teheran and the Braves.
Maybin made a spectacular effort on a Betts drive to center that caught a bit of glove and a bit of wall. With Betts entrenched at third, Ortiz lined out, but Bogaerts hit a bouncer over the mound to score Betts when former Red Sox catcher Ryan Lavarnway could not handle the toss. Bogaerts, who got an infield hit on the play, was tossed out at second for the second out, but Boston quickly added to their now 3-2 lead.
Sandoval whacked a single off the wall and Mike Napoli followed with his own wall shot to put runners on second and third for Alejandro De Aza. De Aza responded with a gap double to left and 3-2 quickly became 5-2 going into the top of the seventh.
With one out in the seventh Juan Uribe and Pedro Ciriaco went back-to-back with singles and manager John Farrell came in to get Miley. No explosion. Junichi Tazawa then got back-to-back pop-ups and the Braves threat was ended.
Holt got his third hit of the game in the last of the seventh and it was the 14th home run allowed this season by Teheran (4-3). The solo shot, Holt’s second of the season, put the Sox up 6-2.
The last of the eighth brought three more runs and the cycle for Holt. Sandoval doubled and De Aza (2B,3B,3 RBI) tripled for a run. Castillo picked up an infield hit and an RBI setting the stage for Holt. Brock Star went triangle triple and had the cycle.
Koji Uehara then came in to finish off the win and a disastrous 1-7 home stand.
Game Notes and musings:
* Maybin has cousins that play in the NFL, NBA, WNBA and CFL.
* The Red Sox are last in MLB at .277 for BABIP.
* The Red Sox outfield has produced a .240 average. Only the Rangers (.238) are lower.
* Atlanta’s Jim Johnson was born in Johnson City, NY.
* Markakis has the highest inter-league batting average of any active player.
* Sandoval has nine errors in 55 games. Last season Sandoval had 11 in 151 games.
* Red Sox pitchers have one RBI. No other AL staff has an RBI.
Miley had six 3-2 counts through three innings. That was a trend his entire start and built up his pitch count to 68 after four innings. Miley had a great change-up working and in the fifth he struck out Lavarnway on a 3-2 count with one. Miley put in 6.1 innings and 111 pitches. Miley had two walks and eight strikeouts while allowing two runs.
Tazawa did his part with 1.2 innings of one hit and no runs relief. Uehara gave up two runs trying to wear off the rust of non use.
A season high 18 hits for nine innings. Holt going for the cycle, Betts with three hits, De Aza with three RBI and every starter with a hit. Sox went 6 for 14 in RISP.
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